Memorial Day weekend was a whirlwind. With Paul’s brother getting married a quick trip to Montana was on the agenda. With all the stops for the kids, especially with a newly potty trained (as in a few months) boy, the trip takes 18-20 hours. And yes, Jacob is officially day and night time dry!!! WOOHOOO!!!
So, trying to get out the door to Montana was a challenge in itself. We were supposed to leave early Thursday morning. This is how the days leading up to the expected departure went:
Monday morning Emily tells me that her head is itching – yup, that is when we find out about the second lice outbreak and I seriously consider withdrawing my kids from school permanently – heh. So Monday is spent shampooing kids hair, doing haircuts, and deep cleaning the house – shampooing carpets, and laundry – we had to wash every blanket and clothing item in the house – and pillows, and stuffed animals, and….. and did I mention this was the SECOND time this year I’ve had to do this??? Anyway, need clothes to pack if we are going on a trip so I was up to my eyeballs in panicked laundry while we bagged everything else we possibly could till after we got back.
Tuesday I am finishing up the cleaning stuff when Paul comes from work asking me if I put x-amount of money on the credit card for the USPS – “No,” I say, “I never use the credit card.” Yeah, turns out some one tapped into pauls credit card. So Tuesday is spent trying to take care of all of that and canceling the credit card.
Wednesday (day before we are supposed to leave I might add) we realize that we forgot to get the car up to the mechanic for breaks (gee – I wonder why we forgot?) and Paul is ready to take van in, then he realizes – ack! We have no way to pay for it. Our credit card is canceled, any extra money in the account is for gas, and the savings was wiped out do to paying the last property tax payment. Hmmmm…. now what? Paul’s parents came to the rescue and helped us out. Breaks were fixed and after some manic packing we were ready to leave Thursday morning – and at least the house was spotlessly clean! 😀
The drive there was incredibly good and we stopped at this amazing rest-area just outside of Ceour De’laine (I don’t know if I spelled that right) Idaho. They had this big boulders the kids loved playing on. So, we stopped for a much needed playing and lunch break.
The wedding was wonderful, and it was awesome to hang out with all of Paul’s family. It was a whirlwind and all too soon we found ourselves heading back to Oregon. If we thought we would have a nice smooth ride home, we were greatly mistaken.
Somewhere near Pasco, Washington we pulled off to a rest area where a fellow driver flagged us as we pulled off the freeway.
“A while back on the freeway I saw a bunch of smoke poor from your van and a belt came rolling down the freeway,” he tells us.
Ahh, so that would be why the AC quit working. Paul checks the engine at the rest-area and sure enough the AC belt is gone, but everything looks ok. So we are back on our way – hot but happy none the less. The kids are restless, but not too bad and the portable dvd players are doing their job at helping to entertain the little people. (marvelous invention, that)
We had just made it the other side of Hermiston, Oregon – ie – middle of NOWHERE – when the dashboard completely blanks out. We can’t read any of our gauges. We have no idea how fast we are going, how much gas we have, car temp – nothing. With hazard lights flashing we pull off the road and proceed to try to figure out what the heck is going on. Paul checks all the fuses, hoping it is just a fuse gone bad. They all look fine. A lengthy phone call to our mechanic only increases our worries that something is drastically wrong. The mchanic tells us that he is worried that it is either an alternator problem or a battery problem and instructs us to make the rest of the trip home without any extras on – not even the radio. So we do the only thing we can do. We pray.
Paul feels like he should switch the fuse out anyway, and does so. The dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree and we sing our praises and hop on the way with only the sound of five extremely tired children who want nothing more than to be home accompanying us on the way. I read Harry Potter for hours, hoping to entertain them until the light is failing and finally they are induced into sweet slumber.
We made it home, thankfully, on the power of prayer. We need to get the van into the mechanic to find out what was wrong with it – I am currently driving Moby Dick (our big white boat of a car) it fits me and all five kids – the kids like it because they get to ride in front (it’s really old, so no air bags), and Paul has been driving the Silver Bullet (the little grey truck some will remember from college days).